June 21
Young researchers at the Novosibirsk State University have studied the effect of lithium chloride on the development of the symptom of behavioral helplessness in rats
A student of the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the Novosibirsk State University, Ksenia Ayriyants, and a graduate student of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the SB RAS, Ekaterina Sukhareva, conducted a study of the effects of using lithium chloride in the development of the symptom of behavioral helplessness.
A behavioral disorder is a symptom of pseudo-depressive (the term "depression" does not apply to animals) in rats after stress. Lithium can be used in the treatment of depression as an additive to the standard antidepressant, enhancing its effect, but the possible toxic effects limit the use of this substance.
In their work, the students have used the Porsolt's forced swimming test. The rat was placed in a glass vessel that was filled with water so that the rodent could not touch the bottom. The rat under the inevitable conditions underwent stress leading to the development of a pseudo-depressive condition, which showed itself when the animal hovers on the surface of the water (often leaving only the tip of the face protruding). This test is called «Despair behavior» in another way.
The effectiveness of the drugs was measured by the time that the rat was in a state of behavioral helplessness.
In the test, the animals of both groups showed an antidepressant phenotype after the lithium chloride: symptoms of behavioral disorder appeared later than in the control ones, and the duration of passive behavior was less:
— Rats, who got an antidepressant injection, had only a tendency to decrease the length of time in a pseudo-depressive state, says Ksenia. — Time has decreased by about twenty seconds, compared with the control group. Also, the time for the first fade increased by fifty seconds.
An analysis of the time dynamics of these effects revealed the greatest effect of lithium on the first minutes of navigation.
Thus, it was found that lithium, both with short-term and long-term effects, affects behavior in conditions of stress forced swimming.